Military & Veterans News

Cover Story: D-Day’s 80th Anniversary is on June 6, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard

Caption: The U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of the U.S. Army's First Division on the morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day) at Omaha Beach. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)


“You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” This was General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message to soldiers before a momentous moment.

June 6 will mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a turning point in World War II where allied troops invaded the 50-mile stretch of beaches of Normandy, France in an effort to free Western Europe from Nazi rule. The operation was given the codename OVERLORD. Nearly 160,000 troops were involved, with 73,000 from the United States and 83,000 from Britain and Canada against 50,000 German forces. There were approximately 20,000 casualties between both sides. 2,501 Americans were killed on D-Day itself. And eight decades later, only around 1,000 survivors are still alive.

“We had almost run over bodies to get to the beach. Never forget we were only 18, 19 years old…I’m glad I made it,” Robert Gibson told AP last year at Utah Beach, on the 79th anniversary of D-Day. “You didn’t know where you were to go. Bullets were going all over the place.”

General Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircrafts supported the D-Day invasion, making it the greatest amphibious landing in history. The airborne assault was the largest use of airborne troops up to that time.

Four U.S. soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their heroic acts that day: Private Carlton W. Barrett of 8th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, as well as First Lieutenant Jimmie W. Monteith Jr., Technician Fifth Grade John J. Pinder Jr., and Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. all of the 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

To honor the 80th anniversary, there will be an international ceremony on Omaha Beach on June 6, 2024. On June 7, there will be a ceremony with President Joe Biden in Cherbourg. The Normandy American Cemetery in Arlington, VA will hold a commemorative event as well as the National World War II Museum on June 6.

May is Military Appreciation month and there are many important events that lead up to the commemoration of D-Day.

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